by Yvonne-Marie Valladares, Chic Vegan
I remember when I had first started on my vegan journey: the blogs I read, shopping I did , and the internet research I conducted. Everyone starts somewhere. If you’re new on the vegan journey, you’re probably eager to start and the internet has become your best friend.
Whenever we try something new we tend to dive into it, which often ends up in a few mistakes along the way. Let’s talk about the most common mistakes and how to fix them.
3 Mistakes Most New Vegans Make
1. Going in All at Once
I have nothing against totally chucking the meat, poultry and seafood you have stored in your fridge, but from a medical perspective its not the best practice. Our bodies are different and depending on how much animal protein you are use to consuming, totally stopping it may lead to dizziness, headaches and other symptoms.
Once you make the decision to go vegan, begin by reducing the amount of animal protein until you are basically vegetarian. Once you hit the vegetarian mark then begin to remove any sources of food that may have animal protein in them. Again for some totally taking out animal protein in one shot may work fine, but I have seen first hand some new vegans give up on it all together because of the symptoms they get.
2. Shopping with Vengeance
I won’t lie – I made this mistake. Once I had made the decision to go vegan, the first thing I did was head over to Whole Foods and pick up every and any vegetable I could think of, along with any product with the vegan stamp. Although this is a quick way to get your pantry stocked up with healthy, vegan options , it’s not always great with budgeting, especially when most times a new vegan doesn’t know what to do with all the products.
The best way to handle this in my opinion is to shop first in your own pantry. We often overlook some of the products we love and later on realize, “Hey that was vegan!”
Once you have a sense of what is in our home that is vegan friendly, it’s time to look up some easy recipes or alterations to ones you already know. This way when we head over to the grocery store you know what you’re looking for and have already learned how to change up some of your usual recipes. Another reason this is helpful is that new vegans tend to head right into the frozen aisle. It’s not all bad, however you want to avoid processed foods with high sodium.
3. Information Overload
Remember above when I said the internet will be your best friend? Well it can also be your worst enemy. Everyone with a computer can jump on and say what is and isn’t the right way to be vegan.
This discourages many because of what I call “vegan shaming.” This is when you may not be doing something according to another persons standard of veganism. As a new vegan you are probably reading every blog post, twitter post, magazine article, and every book that has been printed on the subject. This is one way to get information, but it’s a lot to process and decipher through at once.
The best way to do this in my opinion is to start with two books (a recipe book of your choosing and an informational book on veganism), 3-5 vegan blogs (make sure they are a mix of recipes and factual information), and subscribe (if financially feasible) to a magazine. This will give you enough information where you can start off and then grow through your vegan journey without overloading yourself at the very start of it.
Let us know what mistakes you made when you started out and how you fixed them.
Yvonne-Marie is an environmentalist with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She has a passion for educating local community outreach programs on how to effectively use and understand their health care policies. Yvonne has seven years experience with medical administration and medical outreach research. She is also hoping to become a certified environmental scientist. She is an avid member of an animal rescue group, she handles event planning and animal care for the group. Yvonne runs The Picadillo Mix blog where you can find her expressing her nerdy biology and chemistry side along with her passion for yoga and spirituality.